Disclaimer: as with all natural practices, seed balancing is not a guaranteed way to ensure pregnancy. Eating these fertility-friendly seeds will aid in helping your body prepare to conceive. However, seed balancing is not something you should do throughout pregnancy, as you are not experiencing periods and your hormone levels are entirely different.
Here you are, finally off birth control, realizing babies are in your future, looking for a healthy and convenient way to get your body back on track. We’ve discussed how seed balancing can help you get regular (usually a 28 day cycle) and regulate your hormones after birth control, so now let’s get into life leading up to pregnancy.
If you’re trying to get pregnant (or thinking about it), chances are you are super in tune with your flow. The length of your cycle, while not on any form of birth control, can be a key indicator of hormonal imbalances and whether or not ovulation is occurring regularly. Knowing if you’re ovulating is crucial insight because you are most fertile when you are ovulating (aka when you are most likely to get pregnant).
In order for your body to fertilize and grow a healthy egg, it needs the proper amount of estrogen (queue seed balancing Phase 1 working to balance your estrogen levels). This means our Phase 1 seeds boost the right kind of estrogen and block excess unnecessary estrogen. You need the right amounts of the right kinds of estrogen to grow beautiful, healthy eggs. Since women are most fertile and able to conceive during ovulation, without enough estrogen in the body, women may not ovulate, which can lead to fertility issues. The balancing nature of seed cycling prevents estrogen levels from rising too high or falling too low at any point during the cycle, ensuring regular ovulation in women, essential for healthy fertility. In order for that embryo to be successfully implanted, you need balanced progesterone support (queue Phase 2 doing exactly that). Our Phase 2 seed packs provide progesterone support to help the successful implantation of a healthy embryo (sesame and sunflower).
Let’s break that down:
Pre-ovulating estrogen boosting seeds
Flax Seeds - high in Calcium and Omega 3 fatty acid, has been shown to reduce anovulatory cycles and lengthen luteal phases. Flax seeds also contain a hero compound called lignans, which act like oestrogen in the system and binds excess estrogen to keep our hormone levels in check.
Pumpkin Seeds - high in magnesium, zinc and manganese (all aiding in hormone balance). Also high in isoflavones (boost healthy estradiol levels and moderate estrogen receptors to protect the body from bad estrogens)
Post ovulation progesterone-supporting seeds
Sesame Seeds - high in Calcium, Omega 6 Fatty Acid and Zinc (all fertility-boosting vitamins). Sesame seeds have also been shown to modulate inflammation and support cholesterol metabolism. Given that sex hormones are made from cholesterol, any influx in inflammation can cause a response from the adrenal gland, which can lead to a hormone imbalance.
Sunflower Seeds - high in Magnesium and B6. During the Luteal phase, progesterone levels increase and estrogen levels drop. Sunflower seeds are rich in Vitamin E, which keeps progesterone levels in check.
Looking at you, Phase 1
Eating both flaxseed and pumpkin seed during the first 14 days of your cycle encourages estrogen production. That increased level of estrogen in your body helps to grow the uterine lining, as well as boost your sex drive (yes, please)!
Your turn, Phase 2
The combination of sunflower and sesame seeds during the second half of your cycle promotes progesterone production. This progesterone production helps to stabilize your uterine lining and prepare the uterus for a potential baby. The strong presence of Zinc in pumpkin and sesame seeds helps to improve the formation of the corpus luteum, the hormone-secreting structure responsible for producing progesterone. This stimulates the uterus to thicken the uterine lining for possible implantation.
How it all goes down
Ovulation typically occurs around 14 days after the first day of your period (if you have a regular 28-day cycle)- this is when you are most fertile. It’s important to begin tracking your cycle and taking note of how your body feels during different times of the month. The more information you have regarding your body and your cycle, the better you’ll be able to identify when you are ovulating. You can tell when you are ovulating by checking your BBT (basal body temperature), cervical mucus, or by using an ovulation predictor kit.
BBT is your body’s resting temperature, such as when you first wake up in the morning. Your reproductive hormones can impact your BBT to a measurable degree, making it a helpful tool in identifying when ovulation occurs. BBT is slightly lower in the follicular phase, rises after ovulation, and stays raised throughout the luteal phase. This rise in temperature happens in response to progesterone, which is released after ovulation occurs. Progesterone prepares the uterus for the implantation of a fertilized egg. The temperature change after ovulation is slight — BBT rises by only about 0.5ºF/0.3ºC to 1.0°F/0.6ºC — and may be easily affected by factors such as illness, alcohol, and sleep changes. There are lots of helpful apps to keep track of your BBT - we like Natural Cycles.
During ovulation, when your ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube, is when the egg is fertilized by sperm. If it’s not fertilized within 24 - 36 hours, it breaks down and dies. Confusingly enough, sperm outlives an egg (up to 5 days), so if sperm are hanging out in the fallopian tube a day or two in advance of ovulation, an egg can still be fertilized. On the flip side, you are least likely to get pregnant after you ovulate, in the days prior to your next period.
Extra fun food for thought
New research suggests that the four seeds MONA is comprised of have an encouraging prebiotic effect on your body. They contain different types of fiber that enhance the growth of certain good bacteria in your gut, which in turn help modulate your hormones.
Bottom line, if you’re working towards balanced hormones and a regular cycle, your chances of pregnancy should increase because your timing will be more aligned for egg fertilization and implantation.